They Didn’t Know We Were Seeds
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Watercolor, gouache and collage on paper | 2017
In this piece I was thinking about the role black people have played in building America. I made it in response to Michelle Obama's line "every morning I wake up in a house that was built by slaves". It is about a people who were stolen from their land and collaged into the fabric of America, with literally no regard for their humanity. I was thinking about the history of slavery and agriculture and Michelle Obama's garden at the White House, and what Ta-Nehisi Coates has called "the beautiful struggle". In this piece I cut up watercolors I did in South Africa and collaged them into a scene reminiscent of both the White House and a plantation. I was thinking of it as a symbolic act of stealing what was made in Africa, then destroyed, displaced, and dispersed into America.
30 x 22 inches
34.25 x 28.25 x 1.25 inches
Signed by the artist.
The work comes with a Certification of Authenticity signed by the Co-Founder of Tappan
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Alexandra Karamallis is a New York-based artist who earned her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Her Iranian heritage is a central theme of her work. Identifying as a member of the Baha’i Faith-an oppressed minority in Iran-she explores themes including the oppression of women, art and minority faiths within the context of oppressive authoritarian regimes.
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